Yesterday evening, thanks to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, I got to experience the Rickshaw Run, run (literally – the rickshaws were powered by human runners) by the Footscray Traders Association. I love Vietnamese food, and despite already being on a tour of Footscray last year, I wanted to try a different one, on wheels this time.
First stop was at D&K Seafoods where we were given three oysters each. I had six, because some people in our group were oyster averse. They were big and juicy.
And then we were off, two per rickshaw, tearing through the streets of Footscray. Lots of fun. I think the onlookers had as much fun as we did. I shared a rickshaw with a lovely woman called Leah.
Next stop was Little Saigon Market where we could look around and try some fruit. I had been here before on the Vietnam on a Plate tour last year. I stuck close to the fruit trolley, sampling mango, longan and cha chas, and peaches and nectarines with chilli salt. So sweet, so yummy!
Here’s my first attempt – chubby and bursting at the seams. Sums up my tummy at the food and wine festival really!
There was a surprise at the fourth stop! A drumming band – really fantastic and looked as though they were drumming and doing martial arts at the same time, some barbecued beef wrapped in vine leaves (so spicy and tender), and a massage! I’d never had a massage until this one – and while it felt funny at first, I felt very good afterwards.
This was at our fifth stop – Hanoi pork from Sapa Hill. A watery, acidic sauce was poured over the pork to make it tender, and the pork was then served over noodles, Vietnamese mint and basil. Our waiter said this was his favourite dish, he eats it every day when he returns to Vietnam. It was good! I ate a piece of green chilli and it had so much heat in it though!
We had a race down the side street on the way back to our meeting place. Being on a rickshaw on Footscray is much more relaxing than the pedicab of New York. Though at first it felt jerky, it was fun to whizz through the streets, especially with the cool breeze that had finally come.
I thank the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival for sending me along to this event.